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Future of HP 9000 servers

 
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Don Bentz
Regular Advisor

Future of HP 9000 servers

Does anybody have a link I can look at to see if/when HP plans to "kiss off" this line entirely? I am trying to plan a couple of years ahead and don't want to be painted into a corner. I am already running a
soon-to-be-desupported server (31-jul-2007) on a sooner-to-be-desupported OS (12/31/06).
Insecurity is our friend. It keeps you dependent.
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Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor
Solution

Re: Future of HP 9000 servers

HP-9000 servers, defined as PA-RISC servers are still being sold and will be supported for at least 8-10 years.

HP has said publically on a number of occaisions that the next generation of PA-RISC chips is the last and the future platform is Itanium 64 bit, which is called the Integrity Server.

Integrity Servers use HP-UX 11i v2 is the post current version. The code and feature base is gradually being unified.

I'm planning a server upgrade for 2006 at my organiztion. Due to backward compatability issues it will be a HP-9000 PA-RISC server(s).

That will probably be the last PA-RISC server the JUF buys from HP. The 2010 upgrade, which is not even a glint in anyones eye is planned for Itanium.

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Steven E Protter
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Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP 9000 servers

HP doesn't really "kiss-off" product lines. You can buy replacement parts for HP 9000 servers built in the 1980's ( http://partsurfer.hp.com ). Here is a rough series of steps for product end-of-life:

1. product goes out of production, no new units are built, but service and repair parts are available. A new product can have a 1-3 year life in production, fairly typical for servers.

2. Various servers have had 5 to 15 (or more) years for hardware support after end-of-production where HP still comes out to fix your equipment.

3. HP decides not to cover a specific product set with a repair contract, but repair parts are still available. 3rd party service companies can provide parts and service.

But as is generally the case with computers, the OS is the determining factor. There are HP 9000 models that cannot run an OS newer than 9.0 and are therefore non-Y2K compliant. Newer OS versions end support of certain I/O cards (ie, video, PCI, etc). Software (OS) support is usually the more limiting factor.

So it would not be a good idea to plan a new system (hardware, software, applications) without your own lifecycle plans. Generally speaking, HP-UX servers should be replaced every 5-7 years even when performance is adequate. The reason is that new servers are significantly smaller, faster and require much less floor space. And of course, they'll support the current opsystem. For instance, an rp-2405 will easily replace several K460's or T500's with huge savings in airconditioning and power.

This turnover in technology is the main reason that leasing is often a better choice.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin
Ted Buis
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP 9000 servers

Don,

Two years doesn't count as soon in my book, but I suppose it is all relative. Nine years is a long time to support HP-UX 11.0 as it came out in December 1997. Moving to HP-UX 11.11 shouldn't be that hard. Go to www.hp.com/go/STK to get the software transititon toolkit, so you can start the process now of examining your system to see if there will be any issues. But to answer your question about the end of the HP9000, just because the last pa-risc chip will release later this year doesn't mean that HP will not continue to sell HP9000 systems for a couple more years after that. Also, if you look closely at the new systems you see that they use the same chassis, internal busses, chipsets and memory as the Integrity server line. In-box upgrades are easier than ever before to Itanium. With the Aries Dynamic Translator, those servers will be able to continue to execute pa-risc code. HP's roadmap and investment protection is really very good.
Mom 6
Mark Landin
Valued Contributor

Re: Future of HP 9000 servers

"HP doesn't really "kiss-off" product lines. You can buy replacement parts for HP 9000 servers built in the 1980's ( http://partsurfer.hp.com )."

The e3000 notwithstanding.

With regards to the original question, yes I think HP-UX has a viable future, over a time period typically used to do strategic IT planning. What's your window .. 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? I think even at 10 years, HP-UX is "comfortable".

The real question is one of hardware. HP-UX has committed to Itanium for server hardware, so I think things are safe and predictable for server customers. The story is different for workstation customers, though. Without Itanium, and eventually without PA-RISC, what chip will HP be using in workstations? Assuming they don't do something really wierd like license PowerPC processors from IBM, it's going to be an Intel chip (and apparently a non-Itanium one). So is HP going to support HP-UX on those? if so, they will need two HP-UX releases .. one for IA-64, one for x86-64 or whatever. Won't that be fun!

Or will HP get back on Itanium for workstations? Or will they get out of the UNIX workstation business altogether?
Don Bentz
Regular Advisor

Re: Future of HP 9000 servers

Well, in relation to the PA-RISC chips, somebody told me that beginning with PA-8800, they are "dual core" processors. Does anybody have a feel for Oracle's position about licensing 'per processor' on these? Are they being charged as the Itanium-2's, i.e., 2 licenses per "processor" as a result?
Insecurity is our friend. It keeps you dependent.
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP 9000 servers

A processor is a processor, regardless of the packaging. You can safely assume that all application vendors assign licenses based on what top or ioscan -kfCprocessor reports.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin
Ted Buis
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP 9000 servers

Actually, Microsoft is saying that they will do licensing on a chip basis, rather than the number of processor cores. When Montecito comes out, and has dual cores and dual threads per core, and looks like four processors on one chip this could make a significant difference in licensing costs. The industry needs a new licensing approach.
Mom 6